12 Circuit-Training Exercises for Cyclists
Circuit training involves rotating through different exercise stations with relatively little rest in between exercises. You'll find that this kind of workout will keep your heart rate elevated and provide cardiovascular fitness in addition to any strength gains.
Use these 12 circuit-training exercises as a starting point to build power, speed and endurance in your cycling.
Split Squat1 of 21
Stand with one foot forward and one foot back with a pair of dumbbells at shoulder level. This will raise your center of gravity and require more balance and control.
Split Squat (continued)2 of 21
Drop down into a split squat. Concentrate on your lead leg to control the motion. You should feel a stretch in your trailing leg, but try to let your lead leg do all of the work.
Push-Up3 of 21
If you have difficulties with traditional push-ups, use a bench. You'll still get a core benefit unlike modified (from the knees) push-ups. The lower the bench, the more challenging the push-up will be.
Push-Up (continued)4 of 21
Lower yourself down and keep your body straight. If you have any shoulder discomfort, limit your range to a 90-degree bend in your elbows.
Kneeling Pull Down5 of 21
Kneeling pull downs require greater core control than traditional pull downs. Kneel in front of a cable column while holding onto a straight bar.
Kneeling Pull Down (continued)6 of 21
Pull the bar down to your chest. Concentrate on squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Front Plank7 of 21
Use a mirror or have a partner that can help you to monitor your form. Be sure to keep your body straight and try not to let your hips drop.
Dumbell Chest Press8 of 21
Hold two dumbbells above you as shown. Be sure to keep your feet on the floor.
Dumbell Chest Press (continued)9 of 21
Under control, lower dumbbells down to the side of your chest. If you have any shoulder discomfort, limit your range to a 90-degree bend in your elbows. Return to the starting position with a controlled effort.
Inverted Row10 of 21
Using a squat rack or Smith Machine, set the bar at chest height and position yourself with your feet forward.
Inverted Row (continued)11 of 21
Pull yourself up towards the bar keeping your body straight. Lower yourself slowly and repeat.
Stability Ball Roll-Out12 of 21
This is a great exercise to work on anti-extension. Kneel in front of a stability ball as shown.
Stability Ball Roll-Out (continued)13 of 21
Keeping your core tight, roll the ball forward and drop your hips slightly. Don't go too far at first. This exercise is a little tricky and can be challenging until you get the hang of it. Try to concentrate on using your core muscles to return to the starting position. Avoid pulling with your arms.
Lunge14 of 21
Hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder level. This will require more balance and stability than holding them at your sides.
Lunge (continued)15 of 21
Take a step forward and drop down into a lunge. Try to keep your knee behind your toes. Use a mirror or a partner to help you monitor your form. Push back to the starting position.
Dumbell Overhead Press16 of 21
While standing, hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder level. Completing this exercise from a standing position requires greater core control and balance. A neutral grip is shown here, but feel free to vary your grip.
Dumbell Overhead Press (continued)17 of 21
Press the dumbbells above the head. Keep your body straight.
Standing Pull Down18 of 21
Stand in front of a cable column and grab a straight bar as shown. Don't expect to use a lot of weight. This exercise will work your posterior core just as much as your back and shoulders.
Standing Pull Down (continued)19 of 21
Pull the handle to your chest and keep your body straight. A slight backwards lean is okay, but if you find yourself leaning back excessively, reduce the weight.
Lateral Plank20 of 21
Use a mirror if you have difficulty judging your form. A pad, workout mat or folded towel can make this exercise much more comfortable on your elbow.